Issues to Consider in Making Decisions
The DEADLINE is DECEMBER 14, 2014. This is a Graduate course. Please use double-spaced format. Responses should be in APA style and must include citations and a bibliography. You are strongly advised to access a variety of information from academic journals and other scholarly works. Ensure that your answers are well-organized and that they respond to the specific question asked, display the range and depth of your learning, and demonstrate your ability to conform to the analysis, writing, and research standards of master’s level work. Both questions must be answered fully. Each question needs to be 10 pages and each question needs to have 9 references.
You have been hired as a special consultant by the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) to provide recommendations on whether privatizing the Transportation Safety Administration (TSA) will increase efficiency, cost effectiveness, and satisfaction by the public.
The following assumptions apply:
1. There will be an estimated cost savings of 15% by privatizing the TSA.
2. 25% of existing employees will lose their jobs.
3. Privatized employees will have less training and education and will be paid less.
4. Government contractors will earn a generous profit.
5. Public satisfaction and overall efficiency may decrease as a result of privatization but the majority of Congress will be favorably inclined towards the change.
6. There may be other unknown results both good and bad in terms of risks to the public, safety, and overall fiscal policy.
In making your recommendation, be sure to consider the following:
a. What organizational, financial, political, and human resource issues would you consider in making such decisions?
b. Who are the stakeholders here in the TSA and how will they be affected?
c. What are the benefits and drawbacks to privatization considering not only fiscal but other theoretical aspects?
When discussing the above be sure to discuss the decision making process, social or ethical issues affecting the public, applicable theory and trends, any diversity or ethics issues, and fiscal considerations.
You are the superintendent of Mt. Rossmoor Community College (MRCC). Mt. Rossmoor Community College is the fifth fastest growing community college in the nation. The college’s student body has grown 24% in the past 5 years largely due to the recent housing boom. Due to budgetary cuts on the state level, state universities will increase the cost of tuition by 8% this year, on top of last year’s increase of 14%. The result is that more students will be “priced out” of the state university system. Many of these same formerly state university students will attempt to satisfy general education requirements at local community colleges, including MRCC, thereby increasing demand for courses. At the same time, however, MRCC’s budget will drop 15% this year due to the state budget crisis. As superintendent, you face some tough choices. Should the college significantly increase fees per unit, or maintain current fee levels by drawing down on its budgetary reserve, knowing that next year will not get better? Should the college increase or reduce course offerings? Should the college pursue furloughs, layoffs, or “golden handshakes?” There is even the question of offering online courses and shuttering buildings on MRCC’s main campus, so as to save on electricity and air conditioning. In a white paper, please identify the policy problem, detail the policy options, identify stakeholders, and apply your own financial knowledge to make sound and ethical decisions in the public’s interest.
Issues to Consider in Making Decisions
The decision to privatize TSA will get it out of the screening business, and that responsibility will be devolved to the nation’s airports. The devolution will save the nation of billions of resources currently with centralized management of 53,000 screeners distributed in more than 450 in different airports throughout the nation who do not play a major role. All airports unique variations since they are designed to suit different passenger levels. Privatization will require, for example, the the need to continually adjust TSA’s workforces. Currently, TSA is very slow in implementing these changes. Most airports anchor on this reason to bargain for their return to the private screening.
The impact of unionization of TSA’s workforce achieved recently could further hinder effective management. Attempts to unionize workers in TSA were previously blocked by the Bush administration. According to Admiral James Loy, a TSA administrator, collective bargaining cannot be matched with the required level of flexibility to fight against terrorism (Edwards, 2013). However, the Obama administration has openly supported unionization, a push aimed at covering workers in TSA with collective bargaining. Following a ruling made in 2010 that TSA members be allowed to vote, an election was approved in 2011for the exclusive representation of TSA’s nonsupervisory workers. According to the Federal Labor Relations Authority, approval of this election would ensure that the organization participates in setting up the leadership that is most appropriate to work with (Workforce Management Innovations in Transportation Agencies, 2010).
The American Federation that lead Government Employees (AFGE) was allowed as the TSA’s monopoly union. In 2012, AFGE and TSA entered into a collective bargaining agreement, in 2012, covering 44,000 employees. With a collective bargaining in place, the monopoly union control over a workplace would tend to decrease efficiency at work place. It will also protect workers whose work is poor and determine to establish larger staffing levels compared to that which is required. As a result, the workers may resist any attempts to introduce laour-saving technologies. The resistance is brought as a result of creating a rule-laden workforce. For instance, TSA managers have the mandate to negotiate with representatives of the union about the reassignment of employees. This negotiation is problematic a dynamic industry such as aviation. The frequent changes in route volumes and air carrier schedules have been associated with the unstable demand for air port screeners (NETView Communications, 2014).
Privatization will save much money that are unnecessarily paid in form of wages and benefits. In a study carried out to compare wages of federal employees to those of the private sector, it was found out that the federal pay system gives the average federal employee 22 percent hourly cash earnings above that is given to the average private worker. Additionally, federal employees earn about 30 to 40 percent in wages and benefits that are more in total compensation than the private-sector workers in the same category. The recommendations made by Heritage, the government, should hire more contractors, and this supports the idea of privation. The choice to use contractors would be more cost-effective as the government incurs excessive costs in outsourcing. The costs are incurred by the groundkeeper services kept in-house. The average compensation given to the federal groundskeeper employees $13,187 per year greater than the billing the contactors will be requiring from the government.
In another research carried out by POGO discovered that the government can save approximately 20 percent by outsourcing groundskeeper services. The government estimates closely matches with the difference between the two sectors. The average annual billing rates for the contractor are 1.6 times the compensation for the private sector groundskeepers. According to the research of POGO, the government pays federal employees who operate as medical record technicians 0.01 times more average annual billing rates than that of the contractor, that is $58,641 and $57,782, respectively (Chassy & Amey, 2011).Political Issues
Privatization of TSA is surrounded by multiple political issues. The individual airports do not have the permission to “fire” the screener because that is within the jurisdiction of the federal government. Although the SPP program has began making some changes on this policy, there is need for much larger reforms. The transfer of this responsibility from TSA to the airports, according to a government official, Poole, would give the airports an opportunity to establish a more effective and integrated security system that will provide better services than the traditional TSA. At the moment, the airport has already taken over the responsibility of controlling the general airport security. This form of integration would create a platform for cross-training of the staff among the security functions at airports which would, for instance, improve skills and enhance morale. Some politicians support shrinking the role of TSA in aviation security and expanding of private screening to all commercial airports to include only setting security standards, analyzing intelligence and auditing screening operations (Transportation Security Information Sharing, 2014).
Mica is one of the representatives who are pushing for the privatization of the airport screening. He believes that TSA workforce needs to be reduced to approximately 5,000 workers. Rand Paul (Senator) has proposed that TSA be fully privatized, and his proposal has been supported by Cato Institute scholar Jim Harper. The United States will not be the first country to privatize its airports since many other countries have passed policies to enable privatization of their airport screening. For instance, more than 80 percent of commercial airports in Europe use private screening companies. The countries are such as Germany, France, Spain and Britain. A big hindrance to privatization is the politicians who are opposing it for their own interests. Top managers could not stay long in the TSA since they are political appointees who easily dismiss an agency’s previous activities to introduce new ones which they can tag their names on. Middle managers are safer since they are not easily entangled with political dogfights (Denning, 2012).
Human resource Issues
According to POGO’s research on human resources management, it finding showed that the government may be paying an average annual rate of $228,488 to contractors that is more than twice the compensation of the government to the federal employees ($111,711). Also, the average annual billing rates for the contractors are 2.27 times the compensation of the private sector companies to their employees. With regards to the job classifications analyzed by POGO, the research showed that they are usually considered as “commercial” in nature. Jobs that are commercial in nature are those that are accessible in the phone book. The HR function of the federal government plays an important role outsourcing activities and functions that are important to the US security.. For example, Director of National, Intelligence has released a report indicating that the government has recently outsourced 28 percent of its current intelligence workforce. It is therefore paying contractors 1.66 times the cost of the work that can be done by the federal employees, that is an annual payment of $207,000 for a contractor employee against $125,000 for a federal employee).
Additionally, an analysis of the costs of regarding the outsourced language specialists, it was discovered that the government may be paying them an average billing rates of $211,203 per year. This payment is more than 1.9 times $110,014 per year the government compensates a federal employee. The language specialists are usually used to perform intelligence functions. Again, contractors may be billing the federal government almost 3.5 times $61,010 per year, on average, what it may be compensating the private sector language specialists on the open market (Chassy & Amey, 2011).
Stakeholders in the TSA
The greatest stakeholder in TSA is the federal government. TSA consists of the aviation system with the government as the major stakeholder. The government sets standards and policies that govern the entire aviation system. It plays the role of the regulatory oversight of all the screening operations. For instance, the government sets principles on arms regulations, as a basic good-government principle.
There are three expert private firms that carry out screening at TSA airports namely G4S, Securitas and Garda and each of firms these are responsible for a group of specific Canadian Airports. There are also Aviation Security firms which form part of the stakeholders that offers a great deal of expertise. They have accumulated this expertise for decades. The firms provide best practice service which is exemplified their professional response to the clients’ demands
The firms apply the best practices that are provided across different airports.
Effect of the Privatization on the Stakeholders
The Transportation Security Administration’s (TSA) through the Screening Partnership program (SPP) provides cost reviews of federal government and the contractor employees. TSA created SPP in the process of introducing privatization with an aim of allowing commercial airports an opportunity to hire contractor screeners in preference to the federal employees. According to the Aviation Transportation Security Act of 2001 (ATSA) P. L. 107-71, it is the responsibility of SPP to allow the airports to go through the process themselves from the screening services provided by the federal government. As a stakeholder in TSA, airports are therefore allowed by the law to choose whether to remain working with the federal government or to use private screening services. A report released by GAO on TSA contractor in 2009, showed that passenger screening at the airports where the staff consists of contractors has historically cost the federal government or the tax payer’ money from 9 to 17 percent more than the airports with federal employees. The contractor screeners’ performance was at a level equivalent to or greater compared to that of the staff from the federal government. The recommendations made by GAO based on the highlighted limitations focused on the methodology applied by TSA that will form part of the foundation of privation policy (Program Application, 2014).
The most affected stakeholder in TSA is the workforce in case of downsizing in the course of privatization. In order to reduce expenditure through paying salaries and wages, private companies usually reduce the size. Both private and commercial airlines will have to adjust all their levies upon a full implementation of the policy to privatize TSA (Rebuilding TSA into TSA into Smarter, Learner Organization, 2012).
Benefits and Drawbacks to Privatization
The SPOT program helps to illustrate the problems associated with the top-down federal system of controlling the aviation security. The TSA “deployed SPOT across the nation without prior determination of whether this action had a scientifically valid basis. The TSA did not perform a cost-benefit SPOT’s cost analysis before deploying it. Although this is the tradition of the government, rolling out an expensive plan that will affect the whole country, it is one way taxpayers’ money is misused. Cost-benefit analysis is paramount in any organization before implementing any plan. This is because of the reason that the government does not care whether the ultimate benefits will materialize or not. Despite a huge investment of more than $1 billion in SPOT in just the previous decade, the GAO discovered 23 occasions where known terrorists from neighbouring countries managed to breeze through airports where SPOT was operated by TSA. None of the terrorists have ever been caught of the last one decade. In this case consider the escape of Faisal Shahzad from the JFK in New York, an airport with an active. His name was in the “no fly”. House Republicans considered SPOT as one of TSA’s greatest failures, bearing a great cost but leading to meager results. Although it is has been used to apprehended 1, 083 criminals, over 2 billion passes through the airport gates applying SPOT. According to TSA employees, privatization is likely to jeopardize passenger safety.
Decision Making Process
The privatization process of TSA began when Rep. John Mica tabled a motion in the Congress in 2010 requiring the urgency to be privatized. Orlando Sanford International Airport announced in 2010 that it was necessary to opt out using TSA for the Screening Partnership Program. The Aviation and Transportation Security Act, Public Law 107-71, under § 44920 allowed the creation of a private screening program through which the SPP was formed. The House Committee dealing with Transportation and Infrastructure was then given the mandate of analyzing the reasons and impact of privatization. The committee then compiles a report with recommendations on how to go about the privatization to the congress. Upon receiving the report, the Congress holds a debate on the issue and votes whether to allow the TSA to be privatized or not.
In the case of Orlando International Airport, it was alleged that there was a different reason for pushing for the privatization of the airport rather than enhancing security. Although several airports had done their exploration and saw the necessity of opting out using TSA, politics has it that he is drumming up support for his daughter D’anne Mica. D’Anne was the head of the Airport’s Strategic Communications at the time the Sanford International Airport expressed interest in using SPP. Being the Communications Contractor, the father, and the daughter had a reason to push for the privatization of the agency. However, the decision-making process in transportation planning and ensuring security is designed in a manner that involves all users of the organization. The users include the business community, environmental organizations, freight operators, and the general public.
Social or Ethical Issues Affecting the Public,
The use of a costly investment technology on TSA has drawn a lot of controversies due to the application of Advanced Imaging Technology (AIT) machines. The machines that were deployed in 2008 are “full-body scanners”. It is unethical to use these machines since they are able to see beneath passengers’ clothing resulting to major privacy concerns. They also bear an antisocial effect since it may lead to erosion of values of the airport workers using these machines since they are likely to become immoral with time. The machines also cause extra airport congestion and carry high costs. The questionable detection gains of the AIT machines make them a dubious investment. The screening process involves ransacking travelers’ personal items which are sometimes lost. Additionally, it is common for travelers to miss their flights as a result of the screening procedures.
The conflict of interest is another source of ethical issues. Employees breach Ethical Conduct Standards. Examples of breaching ethical standards include preferential treatment and endorsement of private entities, misuse of government resources such as funds and information (Potts, 1999). Abuse of civil liberties had frequently been associated with the nationalization of TSA.
Applicable Theory and Trends,
Privatization of government agencies has become a trend in many countries. The U.S has become a laggard privatizing its efforts. The country Airports such as Orlando International Airport is one of those that have already established its links with SPP. The terrorist attack of the U.S.A in 2001 had initially led to a unanimous vote in the congress to federalize the security at the airports. According to Representative John Mica, one of the architects of the 2001 TSA legislation, it was a mistake nationalizing airport screening. His scathing attack on TSA as a bloated bureaucracy and that the agency had set a track record of failure especially in catching terrorists is very influential. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) was in charge of the civil aviation. Part of its duties included supervising passenger and baggage screening done on behalf of the airlines by private companies. The primary reason that seems to cause the push for privatization is to enhance security.
Currently, almost all stakeholders are pushing for the abolition of TSA. Emphasis is laid on the elimination of activities that do not show substantial benefits not only to the government but also to the travelers. For instance, passenger and baggage screening should be moved to the airports where they will be subject for private bidding. They form two-thirds of the annual budget of TSA. It is suggested that the remaining fraction of TSA such as intelligence and analytical activities be moved to other federal agencies E(dward, 2013).
Diversity or Ethics Issues
Promotion of ethics such as by respectful and lawful treatment of both employees and travellers, observing the federal laws, privacy and civil rights protecting regulations, affording redress and prohibition of discrimination are to a large extent promoting diversity. Being among the workforce is everyone’s obligation to be dedicated in upholding the code of ethics of the organization and being professional. In so doing it is easy to promote diversity, although in unity (Edwards, 2013)
A comparative cost analysis released by the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure in June 2011 showed that the efficiency of SPP screeners is more efficient by 65 percent than their TSA federal counterparts. The analysis also indicated that the taxpayers are likely to save $1 billion spread within five years if the top 35 airports in the nation performed efficiently, such as the San Francisco International airport which is already under the SPP program. It is hard task to compare the costs incurred by when using federal employees and private employees. This is because contradictory results are produced as a result of using disparate methodologies. To facilitate a smooth process of privatization, the government needs to create a system that can give exact cost of executing commercial services. Otherwise, it will be hard for the pubic to determine the actual savings realized in a fiscal year (Rebuilding TSA into TSA into Smarter, Learner Organization, 2012
Edwards, C. (2013, November 13). Privatizing the Transport Security Adminstration. Retrieved December 14, 2014, from http://object.cato.org/sites/cato.org/files/pubs/pdf/pa742_web_1.pdf-to-action.pdf
NETView Communications. (2014, January 1). Retrieved December 14, 2014, from http://www.highereducation.org/reports/pa_at/
Chassy, P., & Amey, S. (2011, September 13). Bad Business: Billions of Taxpayer Dollars Wasted on Hiring Contractors. Retrieved December 14, 2014, from http://www.pogo.org/our-work/reports/2011/co-gp-20110913.html
Workforce Management Innovations in Transportation Agencies : Overcoming Obstacles to Public Sector Innovation. (2010). The Innovation Journal: The Public Sector Innovation Journal, 15(1). Retrieved December 14, 2014, from http://www.innovation.cc/scholarly-style/zolnik_workforce_mgmtt_innovns_transport_agency2rev3.pdf
The Transportation Planning Process: Key Issues. (2007, September 1). Retrieved December 14, 2014, from http://www.planning.dot.gov/documents/briefingbook/bbook.htm
Denning, S. (2012, June 3). How To Make Government Innovative Again. Retrieved December 14, 2014, from http://www.forbes.com/sites/stevedenning/2012/03/06/could-government-invent-a-130mph-driverless-car/
Starr, P. (1988, January 1). The Meaning of Privatization. Retrieved December 14, 2014, from http://object.cato.org/sites/cato.org/files/pubs/pdf/pa742_web_1.pdf
Regulatory Policy and the Road to Sustainable Growth. (n.d.). Retrieved December 14, 2014, from http://www.oecd.org/regreform/policyconference/46270065.pdf
Transportation Security Information Sharing: Stakeholder Satisfaction Varies; TSA Could Take Additional Actions to Strengthen Efforts. (2014, July 14). Retrieved December 14, 2014.
Program Application. (2014, June 2). Retrieved December 15, 2014, from http://www.tsa.gov/stakeholders/program-application
Rebuilding TSA into TSA into Smarter, Learner Organization. (2012, September 1). Retrieved December 15, 2014, from http://homeland.house.gov/sites/homeland.house.gov/files/092012_TSA_Reform_Report.pdf
Potts, S. (1999, April 28). 99×10: Ethical Challenges of Privatization and Partnering. Retrieved December 15, 2014, from http://www.oge.gov/displaytemplates/modelsub.aspx?id=1441
Identification of the Policy Problem
Rossmoor Community College (MRCC) has recently recorded low completion rates. The main problem is balancing an increased student population and the funds available to run the college. It is evident that this is a new problem for MRCC caused by budget cut by the government. A cut on the national budget will require the MRCC to either look for extra funding to boost the budget such as through fees increment, reduce the current budget, reduce subject offerings, and demolish some structures in order to reduce reduction of electricity and other options available to solve the problem. The public policy limits me as a superintendent increasing fees or reducing the budget. The policy problem faced is the challenge of protecting the rights of the students against the college prerogative in the terms of paying and levying fees respectively.
The budget crisis in the country where the college is found has contributed to a similar problem in MRCC that is now facing a budget reduction of 15% and this would take the college another process of amending the budget. However, since the public university system of the state is undergoing similar budget cuts, MRCC can grab the self-presented opportunity and make strategic decisions that will move it from the its current rate as fifth fastest growing community college in the nation to become the fastest. The location of MRCC is in a community that gone through incredible growth in terms of housing market, is now experiencing the results of its steady growth and excellence that is reflected in a 24 percent increase in the population of the student capacity in the last five years (Kim, 1992). State universities increased their tuition fees by 14 percent last year and there are further plans to raise it again by eight percent i this year. This is the opportune moment for the MRCC can step in and fill goals of the higher education goals for many students who are not likely to be able to traditionally attend MRCC for various reasons.
The dilemma we are in as MRCC is how to solve the problem posed by our own budget reduction of 15 percent at the same time anticipate the student population to continue increasing. There are number options available through which the challenge can be solved. By maintaining the course of action that we already have about the amount of tuition to be paid, it will force us to resort to our budget reserves. Although this is a solution, it will only be short-term. Also, the situation of the state budget does not seem to be improving in the changing anytime soon, and it is apparent that our situation will not change significantly in the coming several years. Again, if we raise our tuition significantly, it will not be possible to deplete the budgetary reserve. However, the raise of tuition will drive away potential students because they would feel that the fees charged by MRCC are too high for them, yet they cannot manage to pay for the state universities’ education. The increment will therefore bar them from the benefit of transferring to our campus (Born, Reyes & Johnson, 2013).
Another possibalternative that can be considered is about course offerings. The concern is whether MRCC should increase or decrease them. Increase of course offerings will pose the challenge in class management. It will be necessary to maintain staffing levels they are currently. The result of this would an enlarged instructor student ratio. The current budget will not allow hiring of more instructors. Nevertheless, if the option of decreasing the course offerings would be force some staff members, either lay-off instructors or participate in mandatory furlough days in order to meet the budget prepared earlier. There is still another option that relates to course options, and that is increasing online availability. This option minimizes the necessity of some buildings within the campus. These buildings can be shuttered to reduce electricity and air conditioning expenses. In fact, some buildings are so old and not used frequently, yet their lights have to be on at night. These are some of the buildings that will be demolished first. The reduction of these operational costs will enable MRCC to manage live within the current budget hence avoid increasing fees. The result is an increased admission of the students who miss out on state universities and this gives MRCC an opportunity to move closer to being the fastest growing learning institution (Altbach, 2013).
Public policy requires a superintendent to make a right choice on the basis of morality, since rights of individuals are involved in this challenge. The policy presents a two side-interpretation of morality, that is, morality with regards to a goal and morality in terms of delegation one’s duty. The challenge at hand in view of the public policy, with regards to morality, is my duty to respect the students’ rights on the basis of what they, as a majority feel is right and are ready to abide by. On the other hand, I have a choice to consider morality as a goal that will favour me to judge the whole situation and make my own convenient decision. It is unfortunate on my side since the policy provides an inconsequential benefit to the side of the students. It will tend to preserve the reputation of the students as well as society as a whole at the expense of college administration. Therefore, it remains the responsibility of the superintendent to remember that making decisions is central and paramount in the course of executing duties and the focus should be what is best for the society (NETView Communications, 2014).
The community based model college is successive everywhere in the United States. Therefore, our college is a key differentiator of what an American can achieve at a low cost and easy accessibility. Through our successive partnership with key stakeholders, our college has grown immensely in terms of student enrolment. The admission of the expected 24 percent increment of students, whom we are working to accommodate, will imply our potential to achieve anything we purpose to do. According to the model, a community college such as ours can do more by hinging on partnership with, instead of competing against, the existing or neighbouring Community colleges (Kim, 1992).
Our future success as MRCC depends on the response we give the situation we are in. This is a situation that not only demands an immediate attention, but it also needs a carefully thought of and as well as well informed decision. We must begin drafting the plan for our upcoming semesters with the consideration of this situation. The decision making process will involve all stakeholders of the institution who include all the employees of MRCC, ranging from the support staff to instructors to directors, each of the current and potential students, local elected officials as well as local homeowners. There are community colleges of our category that have developed and grown at a faster rate compared to four-year institutions over 40 years ago (Taylor, 2013). Similarly, public community colleges have traditionally enrolled about 40 percent of all undergraduate students. That means that we can afford the capacity to accommodate even more than that so long as we respond well, first to these situation and any other that will definitely be coming (Trani & Holsworth, 2010). Community colleges provide a lot to the society where they are situated and this is just due in part to such services .Others include ease of access, community responsiveness, more creativity, and an improved focus on learning. In addition, the innovation of the faculty and leadership of community colleges has been more compared to that of the four-year college counterparts. This is primarily in terms of increasing accessibility to higher education a more diverse with regards to economic and cultural backgrounds of the student body (Kim, 1992) that is the same trend we need to continue at MRCC.
Convenience for students means a lot to their smooth academic life and performance. It plays an important role in community colleges such as our college, MRCC, in what they are created for. Students will always choose to study in an institution that they find convenient in terms of accessibility and the affordability of the tuition fees charged. Our college has been able to admit students who have qualified to join state universities but opt for MRCC due to accessibility and affordability of what we provide. With regards to the current situation, the whole dilemma encompasses around enrolment. It occurs for various reasons such as taking a single course in order to enhance a promotion at one’s work place or just to gain a specific skill. Some students are seeking enrolment in MRCC to take general education classes before they finish their courses at a four-year college while others enrol in order to complete a technical program that will enable the student to fit a specific job market of interest (Boggs, 2011). The time when the society and specifically students looked at community colleges as stepping stone between high school and a four-year college is gone. Interested students do not have to possess necessary skills to be admitted in a community level college. Again, students who are unable to afford tuition fee or are generally unable in terms of financial support are able to find an opportunity to learn in our college through certain or financial arrangements available both within and without MRCC. In recent times, community colleges have experienced an increased number of four-year college students returning to community colleges prior to completion of their degree in state universities (Kalogrides & Grodsky, 2011). We want to capitalize on this situation which we are in to become successive.
Funding of community colleges occur through a combination of fees, local community funding through tax, tuition and state funding. About two-thirds of community college operating funds arises from State and local funds. However state funding support has reduced significantly in most states in the USA. We are now experiencing the same problem currently. For instance, Arizona has been funding its community colleges up to 25 percent of its operating budget but that has gone down to less than 1 percent. Many other community colleges throughout the nation have now turned to other options of getting funds to support its functions. For example, in 2009-2010, there was an almost unanimous increase of tuition and fees at almost all by 7.3 percent at community colleges across America to an about $2,543.00. In comparison, public four-year colleges charged tuition and fees were at an average of $7,010.00. Tuition charged by community college is approximately 36 percent of four-year colleges (Russell, 2010).
The application of these average costs last year forced the state university system to raise tuition by 14 percent to $8,003.00. There are also plans to raise the amount further by 8 percent in the current year, to $8,643.00. If we use this as the baseline, it is approximated that the average community college tuition next year could be $3,111.00, and that will be consistent Nevertheless, our goal is to capitalize on the pricing out of four-year college students, while still keeping our current rate of student population enrolled. The MRCC will maintain its consistence with the national average and eventually increase its tuition rates by 7 percent to attain a sum of $2, 722.00. This is part of the strategy described regarding keeping the current population. Our major target is raising MRCC’s tuition and fees to about 31 percent of that of the tuition and fees for four-year colleges. That would be below the community college national average of 36 percent of tuition and fees of four-year public college.
A decision to transfer the excess cost of operations to the students by increasing their tuition and fees will cause a decrease in overall student enrolment, especially if not done carefully (Dickeson, n.d). The worst that will happen for those students who will not afford to attend the state university system is that they will have no option except going back home to stay with their parents. However, will be available and affordable to hence they will have another chance of continuing education from there. The disadvantage will be for those students who live far away from our college MRCC. The solution for them is that they would be exempted from paying part of tuition and fees that was increased, to compensate for their stay at home instead of boarding and having to pay for room at board (Romano, 2012).
MRCC, just as any other community college can fit in the description “catch-all higher education” provider for everyone. Unlike in the past, it is now impossible to provide all the necessities everyone may need (Romano, 2012). As MRCC considers the options available to itself out of the dilemma it finds itself, we do not lose focus on our mission but we are getting more committed to funnel our resources only to those programs regarded by the public as successful and popular. Based on the current situation that we are facing is characterized with the influx of four-year college students, we are more careful on spending to provide general education studies. We shall not lock out students taking those programs not offered in our community college but are in the local technical schools. It will be necessary to partner with them to partner with the schools on class offerings (Koester & Shulock, 2014) The aim of this partnership is the reduction of the number of faculty members with specialities, which may translate to cutting down on specialized lab or the need for some equipment. Although these necessities are cut down, we still ensure that all the students access coursework. A lot of people living in the community depend on the community college to get the education they want according to their specific needs. Examples include, health care workers, people in new technological fields, teachers and others that are not specific but want to apply the education in diverse places in the society such as in economy (Boggs, 2011). We will primarily focus our energies on these areas. As a successful graduate with a specialty in a field with a high demand, I will be a position to increase MRCC’s reputation, ensuring that there are continued enrollments through the success that will be realized.
Besides streamlining our campus course offerings, we will provide more courses through distance learning, for example, online learning. In order for higher education to extend their reach, they offer online courses, and this mode of education has become common across the country. The courses potentially maximize the use of resources of MRCC through an increased enrollment that is not limited by the size of classrooms, but they will be utilized for traditional course offerings. The only facilities that will remain closed are those mentioned earlier such as labs and classrooms that remained without use following successive partnerships with local technical schools. The technical staff already on the payroll will be in a position to accommodate the network in a start-up online program. Additionally, in order to fully capitalize on the impeding state university systems exodus of students, MRCC has to address the issues concerning faculty. Part-time faculty will be the preferred option for faculty since they are less expensive compared to full-time faculty. Part-time faculty has been commonly used at community colleges in the past 40 years. According to national statistics, the staffs makeup to about 67 percent across the country. Part-time staffs have areas of technical expertise relevant for today’s students. They also offer more flexibility that most students prefer. Majority of the part-time faculty members have their full-time jobs although they also teach for various reasons, such as pursuing employment through teaching or they could be teaching in order to raise potential entrants into the professional field suitable for them of the job market for a more globally conscious group of graduates (Koester & Shulock, 2014)
The strategy to be applied in order for the MRCC succeed will begin with ensuring that the increase in tuition and fees is consistent with the average tuition and fees at national which is about 7 percent as determined over a number of past several years. MRCC will then go ahead, and partner with local technical schools in order to provide the specialized coursework, not offered in MRCC, for both our students and theirs. The partnership will give room for MRCC to close down some specialized labs and classrooms so as to save on utility costs. Some of the equipments may be transferred to the partner school. Next, MRCC will use a combination of full-time faculty to teach traditional courses and part-time faculty to introduce online course offerings. The composition of the courses will include larger class sizes, and there will not be a necessity for an extra or larger classroom space. Lastly, the online courses will be provided for the purposes of beginning general education courses. Later, the courses will be expanded to include other basic technical courses. Beginning online courses in this manner will enable an increase in course offerings within MRCC without necessarily adding class space (Trani & Holsworth, 2010).
In application of this situation, analysis of several trends identified in higher education will give a glimpse of what probably to expect of higher education in future. It is already apparent that state funding of education is reducing at a high rate despite an increasing standard of living in terms of rising costs. For instance, benefits packages for full-time staff and faculty take a significant portion of MRCC’s budget and the same applies to all other community colleges. Considering the rout of offering online courses is becoming increasingly common for traditional students, while non-traditional students have been found to be slower to in embracing the new learning technology. It is also noticed that majority of non-traditional students are returning to school to receive technical diplomas in specific areas of their interest or to complete their degrees. An effective response to these trends will require a superintendent to draw an effective plan consisting of both financial and academic issues. y (Romano & Djajalaksana, 2010). In conclusion, the plan that MRCC will come up with will not be satisfy every stakeholder accordingly, but it will play an essential role for the success of the community college (Hirsch, 2014).
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